Weston Master III

weston master III exposure meterThis is the exposure meter that my dad used with the Akarette 35 mm camera that I drew yesterday. The Weston Master III Universal Exposure Meter was made in England by Sangamo Weston Ltd, Enfield, Middlesex and distributed by Ilford Ltd. This was model no. S141·3, serial no. T5385.

In low-light situations you flip out a filter at the back which is simply a plastic disc perforated with small holes. As you do this, the light scale flips over too. Taking a reading here on my desk I would have set the Akarette to 1/5oth of a second at f5 if I was using 64 ASA film, which is what I’d set the dial to when I last used this meter in the 1970s. ASA is referred to as ‘Weston Rating’ on the dial.

It was built to last, no batteries required and the photo-electric cell is still working fine, but I’m glad all of of all the exposure options that are built in to my current digital camera. The meter is bulkier and heavier than the Olympus Tough that I keep in my art bag.

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  1. Interesting retro camera sketches. My dad was a keen photographer and took some wonderful pictures . With these old cameras and expensive film and developing to consider, photographers had to think about their shots before pressing the button. That meant careful composition and framing as well as manual focussing and exposure. Today with everything automatic, people rush off unconsidered shots with digi camera or phone and hope that some might be ok. Doesn’t cost anything and they delete the poorest of a bad lot. I put some of my dad’s pictures on FLICKR. They were taken in the fifties and some have been viewed nearly 2,500 times. All have been very well appreciated. He died twenty years ago and would have been delighted with his posthumous public gallery.

    1. I’m definitely part of the infinite number of monkeys school of photography these days (although I’ve yet to produce a Shakespearean photographic gem). There was a documentary on a New York photographer, an amateur but with a real eye, who worked on large format so she had only 8 shots every time she set out on the streets. She developed an impressive ability to capture just the right moment. I might get around to putting a film in the Akarette but it will be strictly a one-off taste of nostalgia.

      1. Now as you happen to mention the Infinite Monkey Theorem – students at Plymouth University were given a grant of £2,000 to study monkeys with computer keyboards, I believe to test their literary skills!
        Unfortunately, one monkey smashed the keyboard with a stone and the other monkeys urinated and defecated on it. Methinks it will be a while until the complete monkey works of Shakespeare appear.
        Sorry, I digress somewhat from your blog subject!


        1. At the London zoo I always thought the orang utans were the most artistic of the great apes. There were two youngsters who used to come right up to the glass as I crouched sketching them, watching with great interest as I drew and dipped my pen in the ink. They seemed to appreciate the final page. Apart from my sketch of Guy the Gorilla. They were rather rude about poor old Guy, blowing raspberries at my drawing of him.

  2. I still use my 35mm Olympus OM20 for “real” photography. Unfortunately, since digital photography took off, the quality of developing by high street premises I used in the past has deteriorated.
    Digital comes in useful for fast results, and for blog subjects!

    1. I used to develop my own black and white film, to save money, but in my makeshift darkroom my results weren’t too brilliant either.

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